Hong Kong have shot up four places in the World Rugby Women’s Rankings powered by Capgemini as a result of their 31-17 home win over Kazakhstan on Saturday.
Eleven players made their debut as Hong Kong took to the field for a test match for the first time since they defeated the Netherlands 18-0 in Amsterdam in November 2019.
Kazakhstan seized the early initiative to lead 12-3 thanks to tries from Lyudmila Sherer and Galina Krassavina.
But Hong Kong fought back to go into the break 13-12 up. Vivian Poon Hoi-yan set up one try for fellow sevens star Jessica Eden and then scored herself.
Hong Kong co-captain Natasha Olson-Thorne added to their lead in the second half before Eden crossed for her brace.
Kazakhstan replied through a brilliant solo effort from wing Amina Tulegenova but Agnes Chan Tsz-ching’s try and a second Aileen Ryan penalty put Hong Kong out of reach.
While Hong Kong are on the up and now only three places behind Japan as the top-ranked Asian women’s team, the defeat has seen Kazakhstan fall to a record low of 20th.
The sides will meet again in the Asia Rugby Women's Championship 2022 on Saturday.
Photo credit: HKRU